world's second largest economy and the largest standing military in the world. 191 Citizens directly entering the work force had the constitutional right to a job and to free vocational training. In December, the Bolsheviks signed an armistice with the Central Powers, though by February 1918, fighting had resumed. Throughout the 1930s social mobility rose sharply, which has been attributed to Soviet reforms in education. A companion to Russian history. How the Soviet Union is Governed. 53 Approximately.8 million Soviet POWs died of starvation, mistreatment, or executions in just eight months of 194142. Comecon was the Eastern Bloc's reply to the formation in Western Europe of the Organization for European Economic Co-Operation (oeec 94 95 The Warsaw Pact was a collective defence alliance formed in 1955 among the Soviet Union and seven Soviet satellite states of Central and. By the early-to-mid-1980s, the Soviet authorities tried to solve the road problem by ordering the construction of new ones.